Ohio legislators are considering a proposal to stiffen penalties against sex offenders. It would be called “Nicole’s Law,” for Nicole Robertson, 9, who attended a Senate hearing on the proposal yesterday. The Cincinnati Enquirer says that no senator contested the importance of keeping sex offenders in jail longer and making it harder for them to be released. In her first trip to the state capital, third-grader Nicole listened to her mother, a prosecutor, and the state attorney general tell senators how Ohio’s public indecency laws fall short of keeping children truly safe. They said even the new proposal to strengthen those laws doesn’t go far enough.
Nicole’s mother, Lori, gave committee members a detailed account of how sexual predator Michael Hamblin exposed himself to Nicole at a department store when Nicole was only an arm’s length away from her. Robertson was shocked to learn that Hamblin was able to pay $60 in bail to get out of jail hours later. She was disappointed that he could be given no more than a 60-days jail sentence and that the time would count toward a six-month prison term he will serve on a parole violation.